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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 201352, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/201352
Review Article

Microvascular Guidance: A Challenge to Support the Development of Vascularised Tissue Engineering Construct

1Medical Implant Technology-MediTeg Research Group, Department of Biomechanics and Biomedical Materials, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, P23 UTM Skudai, Johore, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Lampung, Gedung H lantai 2, Jl. Prof. Soemantri Brojonegoro No. 1, Bandar Lampung 35143, Indonesia

Received 18 October 2011; Accepted 20 November 2011

Academic Editor: Thierry Darribere

Copyright © 2012 Irza Sukmana. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The guidance of endothelial cell organization into a capillary network has been a long-standing challenge in tissue engineering. Some research efforts have been made to develop methods to promote capillary networks inside engineered tissue constructs. Capillary and vascular networks that would mimic blood microvessel function can be used to subsequently facilitate oxygen and nutrient transfer as well as waste removal. Vascularization of engineering tissue construct is one of the most favorable strategies to overpass nutrient and oxygen supply limitation, which is often the major hurdle in developing thick and complex tissue and artificial organ. This paper addresses recent advances and future challenges in developing three-dimensional culture systems to promote tissue construct vascularization allowing mimicking blood microvessel development and function encountered in vivo. Bioreactors systems that have been used to create fully vascularized functional tissue constructs will also be outlined.